That projected dollar amount reflects a 31.8% increase compared to $23.8 billion in 2018.
From 2021 to 2022, the total value of Pakistani exports rose 8.5% from $28.9 billion.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022 on a Purchasing Power Parity basis, the Pakistani rupee dropped by -68.2% against the US dollar since 2018 and diluted by -25.8% from 2021 to 2022. Pakistan’s weaker local currency makes Pakistani exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
Pakistan’s Best Exports Customers
The latest available country-specific data is from 2021. Those statistics show that 69.7% of products exported from Pakistan was bought by importers in: United States of America (21.1% of the Pakistani total), mainland China (10.5%), United Kingdom (7.3%), Germany (5.4%), Netherlands (4.9%), United Arab Emirates (4.1%), Spain (3.5%), Italy (3.1%), Afghanistan (2.9%), Bangladesh (2.8%), Belgium (2.5%) and France (1.6%).
From a continental perspective, 35% of Pakistan’s exports by value was delivered to European countries while 34.2% was sold to importers in Asia. Pakistan shipped another 22.8% worth of goods to North America.
Smaller percentages went to buyers in Africa (5.2%), Latin America (1.6%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, and Oceania (1.3%) led by Australia.
Given Pakistan’s population of 227 million people, its total $31.3 billion in 2022 exports translates to $140 for every resident in the densely populated South Asian nation. That dollar metric exceeds the average $130 per capita in 2021.
Pakistan’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups categorize the highest dollar value in Pakistani global shipments during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Pakistan.
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: US$5.9 billion (18.8% of total exports)
- Miscellaneous textiles, worn clothing: $5.8 billion (18.6%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $4.8 billion (15.3%)
- Cotton: $2.5 billion (8%)
- Cereals: $2 billion (6.4%)
- Copper: $1.2 billion (3.8%)
- Leather/animal gut articles: $882.9 million (2.8%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $773.8 million (2.5%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $664.9 million (2.1%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $517.4 million (1.7%)
Pakistan’s top 10 exports generated about three-fifths (79.9%) of the overall value of its global shipments.
Mineral fuels including oil was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 283.2% from 2021 to 2022.
In second place for improving export sales was beverages, spirits and vinegar product category via a 64.8% gain.
Pakistan’s shipments of copper: posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 45.3%.
The leading decliner among Pakistan’s top 10 export categories was cotton, pulled down by a -26.8% year-over-year reduction.
Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level.
For a more granular view of exported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of Pakistan’s Most Valuable Export Products further down near the bottom of this article.
Products Generating Trade Surpluses for Pakistan
The following types of Pakistani product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.
In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: US$5.6 billion (Up by 26.8% since 2021)
- Miscellaneous textiles, worn clothing: $5.5 billion (Up by 9%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $4.6 billion (Up by 37.4%)
- Cereals: $1.5 billion (Up by 10.5%)
- Copper: $955.1 million (Up by 75%)
- Leather/animal gut articles: $775.3 million (Up by 14.9%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $655.8 million (Up by 66.5%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $411.7 million (Up by 194.9%)
- Fish: $404.8 million (Up by 3.7%)
- Toys, games: $272.5 million (Up by 42.5%)
Pakistan has highly positive net exports in the international trade of clothing-related products. In turn, these cashflows indicate Pakistan’s strong competitive advantages under various clothing-related categories.
Products Causing Trade Deficits for Pakistan
Overall Pakistan recorded an estimated -US$20.6 billion trade deficit during 2022. That dollar amount results from a -53.5% reduction from -$44.2 billion in red ink one year earlier in 2021.
Below are exports from Pakistan that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Pakistan’s goods trail Pakistani importer spending on foreign products.
- Machinery including computers: -US$4.9 billion (Down by -14.5% since 2021)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$4.6 billion (Down by -21.9%)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: -$4.2 billion (Up by 19.7%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: -$3.8 billion (Down by -80%)
- Iron, steel: -$3.4 billion (Down by -24.4%)
- Vehicles: -$2 billion (Down by -37.9%)
- Organic chemicals: -$1.8 billion (Down by -38.3%)
- Manmade filaments: -$1.7 billion (Up by 145.7%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$1.4 billion (Down by -47.1%)
- Oil seeds: -$1.2 billion (Down by -30.8%)
Pakistan has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for machinery including electronics.
Pakistan’s Major Export Companies
Based on Forbes Global 2000 rankings, the following are examples of world-class Pakistani companies.
- Oil & Gas Development (petroleum operations)
- Pakistan State Oil (petroleum operations)
Wikipedia also lists businesses headquartered in Pakistan that export their products. Selected examples are shown below.
- Dalda (vegetable oil)
- Engro Corporation (fertilizers, petrochemicals)
- Ghani Automobile Industries (motorcycles)
- Ittefaq Group (steel)
- Ittehad Chemicals Limited (chemicals)
- Khaadi (hand-woven clothing)
- Madina Sugar Mills (PVT) Limited (sugar)
- Master Motors (truck manufacturer)
- Murree Brewery (beverages)
- Servis Tyres (tire maker)
Searchable List of Pakistan’s Most Valuable Export Products in 2022
At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, the following searchable table displays 100 of the most in-demand goods shipped from Pakistan during 2022. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2021.
|Rank||Pakistan's Export Product||2022 Value (US$)||Change|
|2||Men's suits, trousers (not knit or crochet)||$2,475,080,000||-10.1%|
|3||Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)||$1,916,143,000||+141.2%|
|5||Women's clothing (not knit or crochet)||$1,608,258,000||+399.3%|
|6||Yarn (85%+ cotton)||$862,850,000||-25.7%|
|7||Woven cotton fabrics||$772,971,000||+16.6%|
|8||Leather clothing, accessories||$736,418,000||+12.8%|
|9||Stockings, hosiery (knit or crochet)||$728,617,000||+38.4%|
|10||Refined copper, unwrought alloys||$711,721,000||+17.3%|
|11||T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)||$693,320,000||+11.8%|
|13||Men's suits,trousers (knit or crochet)||$640,989,000||-23.4%|
|14||Women's clothing (knit or crochet)||$580,634,000||+86.6%|
|15||Processed petroleum oils||$499,310,000||+1764%|
|16||Woven fabrics (85%+ cotton)||$494,835,000||-43.3%|
|17||Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)||$488,271,000||+16%|
|20||Miscellaneous articles, dress patterns||$399,335,000||-23.3%|
|22||Gloves, mitts (knit or crochet)||$258,779,000||-19%|
|24||Woven fabrics under 85% synthetic staple fibers||$231,526,000||+16.5%|
|25||Men's underwear, pajamas (knit or crochet)||$209,424,000||+25.5%|
|26||Tracksuits, swimwear (not knit or crochet)||$207,176,000||+287.5%|
|27||Men's shirts (knit or crochet)||$205,620,000||-65.4%|
|28||Zinc ores, concentrates||$199,776,000||+10589%|
|29||Men's overcoats, jackets||$188,738,000||+292.1%|
|30||Woven fabrics under 85% cotton||$169,797,000||-22.6%|
|31||Medication mixes in dosage||$160,026,000||-32.2%|
|32||Woven fabrics (under 85% cotton)||$156,479,000||-46%|
|33||Whole fish (frozen)||$151,566,000||+32.7%|
|35||Other woven fabrics under 85% synthetic staple fibers||$136,714,000||+47.3%|
|36||Cases, handbags, wallets||$130,825,000||+309.7%|
|37||Women's coats, jackets (knit or crochet)||$129,290,000||+2657%|
|40||Curtains, drapes, blinds||$118,775,000||+11.8%|
|43||Camp items including tents, sails||$108,924,000||+2.9%|
|44||Crustaceans (including lobsters)||$107,016,000||+4.2%|
|45||Chromium ores, concentrates||$106,232,000||+12.2%|
|46||Men's underwear, pajamas (knit or crochet)||$103,285,000||+78.8%|
|48||Men's coats, jackets (not knit or crochet)||$99,389,000||+220.2%|
|49||Knotted textile floor coverings, carpets||$95,856,000||+30.6%|
|50||Infant clothing (knit or crochet)||$94,690,000||+46.8%|
|53||Other animal leather||$87,141,000||-16.7%|
|54||Salts including table salt||$86,809,000||+27.7%|
|55||Woven fabrics (mixed)||$86,730,000||-53.1%|
|58||Solid-form sugars, fructose, glucose, lactose||$82,126,000||+33.9%|
|59||Gloves, mitts (unknit and non-crochet)||$80,862,000||+168.4%|
|60||Miscellaneous garments (knit or crochet)||$80,168,000||+426.2%|
|62||Inedible meat flour||$73,699,000||+59.2%|
|63||Molasses (from sugar extraction or refining)||$73,451,000||+124393%|
|64||Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips||$70,857,000||+2.3%|
|65||Women's singlets,pyjamas (not knit or crochet)||$67,853,000||+90%|
|66||Blankets, travel rugs||$67,332,000||+58.4%|
|67||Fresh or dried citrus fruit||$66,781,000||-61.1%|
|69||Cellulose fiber paper||$61,498,000||+55%|
|70||Other than warp-knit fabrics||$61,305,000||+3.8%|
|71||Tracksuits, swimwear (knit or crochet)||$60,102,000||+23.4%|
|72||Men's singlets, underwear, pyjamas, robes||$60,053,000||-42.5%|
|73||Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)||$58,951,000||-1.1%|
|74||Women's coats, jackets (not knit or crochet)||$57,266,000||+733.8%|
|76||Copper waste, scrap||$51,971,000||+71.4%|
|77||Vegetable saps, extracts||$51,374,000||+20.2%|
|78||Women's underwear, pajamas (knit or crochet)||$48,855,000||+62.7%|
|80||Spices including ginger, saffron, turmeric||$44,490,000||-52.7%|
|81||Miscellaneous iron or steel tubes, pipes||$43,234,000||-17.5%|
|82||Synthetic yarn woven fabrics||$41,363,000||+7.6%|
|83||Synthetic staple fiber yarn not for sewing||$40,986,000||+148.6%|
|84||Lead ores, concentrates||$39,709,000||+4991%|
|85||Miscellaneous plastic items||$39,534,000||+467%|
|86||Animal guts, bladders, stomachs||$38,797,000||+28.1%|
|87||Textile floor coverings, carpets||$38,426,000||+602.2%|
|88||Precious metal waste, scrap||$36,831,000||+5261%|
|89||Unmanufactured tobacco, tobacco waste||$36,248,000||+72.7%|
|90||Woven fabrics (high synthetic fibres)||$34,131,000||-54.7%|
|92||Garments from special fabric (not knit or crochet)||$31,274,000||+148.5%|
|93||Yarn (under 85% cotton)||$31,001,000||-54.9%|
|94||Men's shirts (not knit or crochet)||$30,736,000||+158.7%|
|95||Hair clippers, cleavers, similar cutlery||$30,247,000||-55.8%|
|96||Onions, garlic, leeks||$29,254,000||-80.2%|
|98||Crustaceans, molluscs (preserved/prepared)||$28,691,000||+26.1%|
|99||Fish fillets, pieces||$28,360,000||+0.1%|
These 100 top exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$28.9 billion or 92.3% by value for all products exported from Pakistan during 2022.
In macroeconomic terms, Pakistan’s total exported goods represent 2.1% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($1.518 trillion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 2.1% for exports to overall GDP per PPP in 2022 compares to 2.2% for 2021. Those percentages suggest a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Pakistan’s total economic performance, albeit based on a relatively short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Pakistan’s unemployment rate averaged 6.2% for 2022 down from an average 6.3% in 2021, according to metrics from the International Monetary Fund.
See also Pakistan’s Top Trading Partners, Pakistan’s Top 10 Imports and Top Asian Export Countries
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International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 13, 2023
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Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Purchasing power parities (PPP). Accessed on June 13, 2023
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Wikipedia, Pakistan. Accessed on June 13, 2023